Cherry Hill Mall gets a makeover

March 22, 2009 3:24:41 PM PDT
It's not just another day at the mall. In the midst of an unsteady economy, New Jersey's Cherry Hill Mall has come to the end of a $218 million dollar makeover.

Built in 1961, one of the nation's first malls is ready to show off its new wares.

The mall is opening a new two level, 144,000 square foot Grand Court that will be anchored by a newly built Nordstrom. Nordstrom opens Friday.

25 new retailers are settling in here.

Some long time mall residents have spruced up.

Bahama Breeze, Maggiano's and The Capital Grille steakhouse are among restaurants that will spice up the malls food offerings as complimentary alternatives to the over hauled and improved food court.

Most shoppers like what they see.

"It's gorgeous. It's beautiful. It's uplifting. I love it," Kay Bryant of Collingswood said.

"I think it will bring a lot more shoppers to the mall. It's unreal the changes that were made here," Tom Messick of Collingswood said.

"We're going to King of Prussia for these same amenities. So bringing it to Cherry Hill makes it more convenient for us here in South Jersey," Robert Lane of Pennsauken said.

Mall officials acknowledge a tough economy has resulted in guarded consumer spending. They hope the overhaul puts them in a good position when the recession eases.

"When the economy does start to recover and consumers are ready to spend dollars again, they're going to come shopping here at Cherry Hill Mall and we're going to recapture all those dollars that aren't being spent right now," Cherry Hill Mall spokesperson Lisa Wolstromer said.

While shoppers are buying less now compared to last year, mall officials say their spending is beginning to pick up enough to feel encouraged about the millions spent to spruce up the mall.

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